Marine Fishery Resource Center

The year 2000 marked the 50th anniversary since the signing of the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which was a major landmark in natural resource restoration and conservation in the United States. Several fishing organizations have joined efforts to promote the sport and encourage people to "step outside and enjoy fishing" as part of the year-long celebration. New York Sea Grant is taking steps to participate in this national initiative at the local level through its Extension Program, a partnership with Cornell University.

Doing her part, NYSG's Marine Fishery Specialist Antoinette Clemetson coordinated the online Fishery Resource Center, an outreach and educational endeavor of the Program to provide general and technical information to the state's marine district angling community. "Our goal in creating this online angler's kit is to enhance the initial fishing experience of beginners and less experienced anglers in order to generate an interest in the sport that will eventually develop into long-term commitment," says Clemetson.

The end result is a site featuring information on the biology, life history, distribution, management and regulation for species that are targeted by the region's avid sport fishers. Designed for beginners and people with less experience in fishing, this website allows users an opportunity to find hints to improve their fishing skills- angling tips, rigging, knot tying, hook selection, angling etiquette and releasing techniques.

"My hope is that beginners will find information designed to help them have a positive fishing experience in our waters," says Clemetson. "For the marine district's seasoned anglers, this site offers information on recent developments in the fisheries management arena as well as the research frontier."

Initially, this kit is being made available in electronic format only. "In contrast with a print version, this high-tech medium not only allows us to more rapidly provide our users with regular content updates, but it also gives us the potential to reach a wider audience," says Clemetson.

The resources now available in this online format include species profiles, fishing regulations, fishing techniques and a calendar of events that are relevant to the angling community in the marine district. Among other things, a directory for locating bait and tackle suppliers will soon be an added feature to this site.

After visiting NYSG's online Fishery Resource Center, Clemetson adds, "We welcome comments and suggestions to help us to improve its contents."

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